DC hospital's spending decisions will fall to financial control board

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Washington, D.C.-based United Medical Center will have its budget rewritten by an outside financial control board after it received additional funding to cover payroll this week, according to The Washington Post. 

United Medical Center had asked the D.C. Council last week to raise a cap on city funding from $15 million to $40 million this year to continue operating and meeting payroll. The cap increase would have allowed the hospital to continue to operate without giving up spending decisions to an outside fiscal control board. But, the council declined to raise the cap on funding.

However, to meet payroll this week and expenses for the rest of the year, District Mayor Muriel Bowser disbursed $25 million to United Medical Center on May 11. The additional funding without the cap raised triggers the review board.

Now staff and city residents are bracing for cuts to services due to the financial review board.

In the vote last week, those opposing the funding cap increase said that the council should stick to the legal cap that they previously set that will trigger outside financial help.

"We put the threat of the control board in," Council member Robert C. White Jr. said, according to the Post. "Why don't we want this control board at this point?"

Those who wanted to increase the funding said that the fiscal review board would be devastating to the community.

"If the control board comes in, the hospital will be viciously pruned," Wayne Turnage, the deputy mayor for health and human services who serves on United Medical Center's board, told the council, according to the Post. "The control board will come in and fix it for you, but it will be a fix that probably none of you have the stomach for. I've seen hospital operators come in and basically take hospitals down to the studs."

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